As you will remember, we left off with the shawl finished, but still sitting on the needles. It is past half past 1 in the morning, and Christmas is soon to dawn upon the protagonist …
On the 24th
1.) 6.30am. Get up after about four and a half hours of sleep. Stumble under the shower and give yourself a little pat on the shoulder that you were smart enough to wash your hair last night.
2.) Make tea. Write morning pages. Eat porridge for breakfast. Try not to fall asleep over the bowl.
3.) 8am. Half an hour until you have to leave for work. Sit down to tackle a bit of the bind-off so that you can get it done before you go over to your parents’ at 3.20pm (your father called last night to tell you not to be later than that).
4.) Find that there is indeed such a thing as muscle memory, because as soon as you sit down and take up your knitting, your back, arms and neck start to cramp again.
5.) Start casting off, with a 4.00 DPN. Give yourself another pat on the shoulder (SOFTLY!) because you decided against a sewn bind-off and stuck with the one given in the pattern.
6.) 8.30am. Get ready for work!
7.) 9am – 1pm. Work! Answer phone questions such as “Do you know whether there’s a barber shop that’s still open now?” (you don’t know) and “Could you tell me your opening hours for today?”. Always count down silently after giving the answer (You: “Until 1pm.” 1 … 2 … 3 … Customer: “oh.”).
8.) 12.30pm. It starts to rain like mad! Try to figure out where to board an ark!
9.) 1.10pm. Swim to the tram stop, then ride home, then swim home.
10.) 1.30pm. Welcome home! Time to start the bind-off. You still haven’t wrapped any of your man’s presents and haven’t made the gift card for your mum, because you didn’t finish her socks in time.
11.) 2pm. Your guy leaves for his family.
12.) 3pm. Call your mum and tell her that you are so very, very, very sorry but you can’t come right now because your present for gran isn’t finished. Be immensely relieved when she tells you that it’s completely fine and that your can wrap some of your man’s presents at her’s. Cut her off mid-sentence when she starts to explain something slightly different with a frantic: “NOT NOW MUM, I’M BUSY!!”
13.) 3.30pm. Finish bind-off. Quickly wrap it in paper. Write gift card for mum. Wrap one present for your man at home, then look for more wrapping paper for the two other presents.
14.) 3.40pm. There is no more wrapping paper.
15.) 3.50pm. Wash your face. Change clothes. Get your presents and everything. Decide that you’ll wrap the presents at your parents’ indeed. You’re about to celebrate Christmas.
16.) 4pm. Arrive at your parents’. Merry Christmas.
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So … Yeah. My gran got an unblocked laceshawl and liked it, but of course it wasn’t the reaction I had inteded – I was too slow for that.
All I can say is: Never again. I really do not want to repeat this experience, I am still disappointed that I missed out on decorating the tree, helping wrapping the presents … Plus, I found that I was being completely stupid, sitting there bend over my knitting like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, just because I hadn’t planned better.
I told my gran that I’d block the lace shawl for her and she told me not to hurry with it, because that’d mean only more stress. But I was determined …
On the 25th, I washed and blocked the lace shawl. This is the second shawl I have ever made, so I underestimated the amount of time it takes to block – again. We were a bit late for the meeting with Philipp’s family – but it wasn’t so bad this time because when Philipp phoned his dad (early enough, by the way!) to ask whether he needed more help with setting the table, cooking, etc., his dad simply told him that there was more than enough time and he had done most of it already, so we wouldn’t have to hurry.
Of course, blocking wasn’t going to go smoothly all the way …. No ….
But as you can see, I managed to rescue the loose stitch immediately and after a quick consultation of youtube for a double check on how to deal with it, I crocheted the stitch up to the cast off edge and sewed it in with a little bit of extra thread:
Here is the shawl in all its blocking glory:
And this was how it looked on the 26th:
It is a big shawl. And lacy, too.
And I am very, very happy to tell you that my gran was more than pleased when she got the “real” shawl on the 26th.
Résumé: I love the shawl. I highly recommend it for lovers of lace. The stockinette parts make it easy to keep track and provide a nice change to rows which are purely lace and during which you really have to concentrate. Yes, the charts are big. Yes, they are many. But they are really easy to read and it is easy to recognise and to correct mistakes.
This shawl was a really good boost for my confidence, and I am not only talking about knitting confidence here. I was a bit surprised and then very pleased when I realised that I did not have to tink back two rows of over 300 stitches anymore to correct a mistake, but that I was completely capable of letting the stitch run down two or three rows to correct a mistake. While knitting this shawl, I think I really learned how to read my knitting and this is something that will come in very, very handy in the future.
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Special Thanks go to:
Philipp, who helped me immensely, cared for everything, left me enough time to knit, dealt with my little miserable b*tching self and stayed up with me until half past one, “because I want to see the end of it!”. Thank you. I wouldn’t have done that for me and you did. I am forever grateful.
The soundtrack of Vampire: Masquerade – Bloodlines, Little Shop of Horror (which I forgot to mention in part I), Franz Schubert for composing the Winter Journey and the Punkrock band The Traceelords for their wonderful album Refuse to Kiss Ass. I would have gone mad without you. Thank you so much.
My mum. For not being mad at me that she didn’t get her socks on Christmas Eve.
And all the other presents? How were they received? Well, my friends …
“That is another story and will be told another time.” (Michael Ende: The Neverending Story)
All the best for 2015! Take care!